|Row over Army Chief is political: Prez Office|
KATHMANDU, MAY 17: The president´s move to stay the dismissal of Army Chief Rookmangud Katawal by the Maoist-led government is a political matter, said the President´s Office on Sunday, arguing that the issue should not be made the subject of judicial review.
In a written reply to the show cause notice issued by the Supreme Court over the president´s act of blocking Katawal´s sacking, the office also clarified that the president took the step out of “inevitability” by evaluating political situation and peace process in the country.
“The issue does not only involve legal and constitutional matrix; it directly or indirectly involves issues related to national security, law and order situation, sensitivity of the army organization and Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The issue is judicially unmanageable,” Dr Ram Hari Aryal, secretary at the President´s Office, told the apex court.
The reply of the President´s Office to the Supreme Court is something similar to what the Maoist leaders have maintained publicly. The Maoists have been arguing that the president´s move cannot be settled down by the apex court as it is a political issue.
The issue of Army Chief´s dismissal is currently before the Supreme Court. The sacking was dragged into a deep constitutional and political controversy after President Dr Ram Baran Yadav blocked the Maoist-led government´s decision to remove the Army Chief through a cabinet decision boycotted by all the ministers, except the Maoists, on May 3.
In the seven-page long reply to the apex court, the President´s Office further argued that the decision to sack the Army Chief was not supported by all then ministers representing different political parties in the cabinet and was thus unconstitutional. “The president as the head of the state has also a duty to the nation to protect and enforce the constitution and thus stayed the dismissal of Katawal for the best interest of the country,” the President´s Office further argued while requesting the court to quash the writ petition filed by Inhured International.
Defending the president, the President´s Office also said that the president took the decision as almost all the political parties were against Katawal´s sacking.